(RUPTLY) A guided walking-tour of Aleppo’s major historic attractions took place on Friday, for the first time since the war-torn city was liberated from the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL/ISIS). The tour marked the opening of the tourist season.
Around 300 students from across the country alongside local citizens were spotted taking pictures at the compound of the Umayyad Mosque and in front of Aleppo’s ancient citadel which is heavily damaged after five years of war. A special concert with music and dancing was later organised for Aleppo citizens at the amphitheater.
Aleppo citizen and tour guide, Anushka Arakelyan, said that people hoped that the city “will be the same as it was before the war.”
“There are no nationalities here. All people love each other; all live together, rejoice together, cry together and wait together,” she added.
“Aleppo will be the same as it was before the war. We hope and wait,” Arakelyan said.
“As one Russian song says, we hope and wait, and we will wait and hope,” she added.
“We love Aleppo very much. Aleppo is a very good city, very hospitable city. I’m very happy to live here. Here, there are no nationalities. All people love each other; all live together, rejoice together, cry together and wait together,” she concluded.